24 hours after their heavy defeat against Leicestershire in a 40-over game, Derbyshire suffered another in a 20-over game against Yorkshire. Two decidedly ordinary batting performances in two days, though there are mitigating circumstances.
Karl Krikken is trying things at this stage. Jon Clare opening, Gary Park in the middle order, Paul Borrington at 7 - I don't see many of these as options when the business starts, but it is as well to try them out while there is an opportunity.
Of course, Krikk's hand has been forced by early injuries. Redfern jarred his knee in the field, Palladino is on his way home with a broken jaw, Groenewald is recovering from knee surgery and Turner from a stomach operation. It is not what any of us would have wanted and effectively leaves us with only Footitt and Clare as an opening attack. With no Greg Smith, we're very short of seamers and while Ali Evans is apparently a bowler of some potential, few would see him as a first choice seamer at this stage, which is what, at present, he is set to be.
Logically a move for a bowler - on loan or otherwise - when they return home looks increasingly likely and I'm sure that Krikken is mulling over options at this moment.
Of course, the two defeats haven't been without promise. The wicket-keeping of Tom Poynton has been very good, Chesney Hughes has both batted and bowled well and Paul Borrington has played two unbeaten cameos at the end of innings that suggest he will make a push for a regular berth this season. Wayne Madsen has also done well with the bat, but the busiest man on tour in the coming days is likely to be James Pipe, who has to patch up a few more people than he would have liked...
Early season niggles are nothing new and while winning is a good habit, losing two from two friendlies is nothing to be unduly upset about. I would like to see us field a more 'normal' side in the next match though. I'd open with Borrington or Lineker and go with Durston at 3 and Madsen at 4, a tactic that worked well last year. There is an argument for promoting Clare, but I'd put him at six behind Whiteley. For one thing I don't think his technique is sufficiently secure yet to open and for another we can't afford to overburden the lad when he's one of only two fit seamers...
Elsewhere, Somerset continue with their plan to recruit a World XI by being linked with Ricky Ponting, while over on the Forum someone questions why we've gone to the Caribbean. Ho hum...because you have nigh-guaranteed cricket, which you wouldn't have here. An opportunity to stretch muscles in a warmer climate is more likely to be successful than doing the same in England at this stage. The injuries we've sustained are largely carried over from last year and are the result of accidents, which no amount of planning can alter.
Finally tonight, a big pat on the back for Tom Holdcroft at the club, who I asssume has been responsible for the excellent Twitter feed on the two matches thus far. Over by over updates are essential in such matches and it augurs well for the season. I was critical of our Twitter at times last year, when there were occasions that updates happened just twice a day, but this was really impressive. Well done!